Buick Envision concept crossover revealed at Auto Shanghai

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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The 2011 Auto Shanghai currently plays host to several futuristic looking concept vehicles from manufacturers all over the world. Buick was no exception to this trend as the American brand released its striking new Envision concept crossover SUV to those in attendance at the Shanghai show.

Developed by Shanghai GM and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), the Envision concept showcases the development direction for future SUVs from Buick. On looks alone, the Envision is a departure from the Buicks currently on sale today.

The Envision is rakish in its design, with a sloping roofline and body panels that vary from convex surfaces to concave. Front-end styling is much more forceful than current Buicks. The Envision's angled headlights, said to be inspired by "traditional Chinese patterns," give the concept a piercing stare, while the prominent grille resembles a shield and is even illuminated in soft blue lighting.

The side profile of the car reveals a silhouette that is more akin to a hatchback, or wagon. The Envision doesn't have the broad, square styling of traditional SUVs and is instead defined by sculpted, flowing lines, which stretch the entire length of the vehicle. The rear end is also reminiscent of hatchbacks and wagons, but again, there's much more visual drama. The Envision's taillights are particularly striking and have a similar angular shape to the headlights.

Another design feature that comes as a departure from current Buick styling trends are the scissor-style doors, which open upward just like a Lamborghini's. The doors are longer than usual, and when opened, allow access to the rear seats as well as the front seats.

The Envision concept's frame is made of carbon fibre, aluminum, and magnesium, and the whole thing is mounted to an electromagnetic suspension which is said to offer one of the fastest reacting magnetic ride control systems in the world. The Envision is hunkered down over 22-inch wheels with silicon sport tires that are claimed to reduce resistance, noise, and energy consumption due to an asymmetrical unidirectional tread pattern. The concept crossover also features an all-wheel-drive system that can vary torque output to any wheel at any time. Buick says this will increase driving pleasure.

In addition to the radical styling and hybrid powertrain, the high-tech Buick also features rearview cameras, a 3-D head-up display, a touch screen interface, and Bluetooth DUN Intelligent Internet that allows users to connect to the internet through a cloud server.

As GM Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn puts it, "The Envision has inherited Buick design DNA and taken the Buick global design language to a new height. It makes a significant statement for Buick styling and technology, and will influence upcoming models from the brand."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Hybrid, HEV, Buick, 2011, Envision Concept, Compact,

Organizations: Auto Shanghai, Buick

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